Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yep.

Pretty much. Gordon's got a few years on me, but I'm geezer enough to feel mostly the same way, I guess...
'Negro' is now considered by some to be an ethnic or racial slur. Not by me. I see it as archaic, but I see nothing wrong with it, though I don't use it much anymore.
Context and intent matter here, just as they do when black folk I know use the word sarcastically, with an exaggerated first syllable, or institutionally, as in the United Negro College Fund. More than a few older black folk use it formally and proudly, remembering a day when to be called a Negro was a victory in a hard fight against the denigration of real hate language, just as many of their parents saw "colored" as a step forward, and their children demanded to be called black.

Besides, if Barry's over it, we can all get over it.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

Truly, the noise about what Harry Reid said is a tempest in a teapot. The sad thing is it is true.

Evidence of that is when Jesse Jackson was picked up, by a microphone he didn't know was on, saying how he wanted to cut off then candidate Obama's testicles because he "talks down to black people."

It's like Chris Rock once said; there are two ways to talk: one, if you want to get the job, and two, if you don't. Same thing applies to a bank loan (such as they're being given, these days) or the job of President of the United States.

But that is something that may be changing - but slowly.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous bluesky said...

There is quite a discussion on nuances of this in the comments at Lindsay Beyerstein's place. I can't stand Reid, but I do see this probably as more generational and locational (small town Navada Morman) than racist. It is, however, quite stupid of him, especially since he has been in politics so long. I don't think Harry Reid is very bright, period.

But then, there is the United Negro College Fund....That has made me wince for thirty years, now! Jeezo.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Shaun said...

Don't wince. Understand that Negro is a perfectly respectable word that, when it commonly used, carried a respectful inference.

No one who prefers another term should be called a Negro in defiance of their wishes. That could be construed as racist. It would unquestionably be rude. Nothing at all like that going on here, though.

10:11 PM  

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